If you search for the pitchers with the top xFIPs, it’s a who’s who of the league’s finest. It’s not quite as glamorous as the Who’s Who of Western Appalachian High School Students that your parents paid $25 for you to get your picture in, but it’s still pretty illustrious. Kershaw on top, then Salazar, F-Her, Gerrit, Carrasco, Pineda, Archer, Shields, Scherzer, Harvey and Lynn. If your pitching staff was just those guys, you may not be currently winning your pitching categories, but you will by the end of the year, or your money back1. Right after Lynn in the list is Clay Buchholz, then after him it continues to be purdy: Arrieta, Kluber, Lester and so on2. Out of all of those pitchers, Kershaw, Shields and Salazar are the only ones with a better K-rate with Buchholz’s at 11.5. 11.5 K/9 is excellent and is the 4th best in the majors. Buchholz’s walk rate isn’t bad either at 2.87 — under 3 is solid. Under three walk rate with an 11.5 K/9 is an ace. Only thing is, his ERA is 6.03. Oopsie! Right now, his BABIP is .407. A .407 BABIP is basically the equivalent to an easy grounder is headed right to a fielder, but the ball is grabbed by a possum and the possum runs the ball around the infield for five minutes as the hitter goes around the bases for an inside-the-parker. If Buchholz is available in your league, I’d absolutely grab him, and could even see trading for him in deeper leagues9.
1You just need to sell my Jose Canseco Sportsflics rookie card to get that money back.
2Yes, I said so on rather than list Bartolo Colon3.
3Yes, by footnoting Bartolo Colon I am sorta listing him4.
4My autocorrect wanted to change sorta to Sorat. Is that Borat’s sister5?
5I miss Sacha Baron Cohen. Shame what happened to him.6
6My intern says nothing happened to him, he just picked crappy films to be in7.
7The Spirit of David Foster Wallace has taken over my body8.
9Anyway, here’s some more players to buy or sell this week in fantasy baseball:
Jason Hammel – Let’s just get right to the Stream-o-Nator pick. Hammel gets the Brewers today and, if the Brewers win, the players are allowed to noogie and/or wedgie their manager, Craig Counsell, so he has no incentive to win.
Carlos Frias – I just went over Frias this morning. It was a doozie to end all doozies. Doozies from all around the world were talking about its level of doozieness.
Miguel Gonzalez – I often wonder if a boring name psychologically influences fantasy baseballers (<–my mom’s term!) to think a player is boring. I mean, Miguel Gonzalez just sounds so bleh. Actually, he is pretty unexciting with a 7.8 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 3.96 xFIP, but he has been pitching well for, like, six months into last year.
Alex Colome – To paraphrase Rhett Miller, “Colome, untie my hands. I’m tired of pickin’ starters and I’m tired of changin’ my mind, and I’m sick of death of Travis Wood and I’m sick of death of tryin’ to find something positive to say about Miguel Gonzalez.”
James Paxton – I was gonna make a Pax TV channel joke, then I Googled it and saw it was rebranded as Ion. How is Ion not the home of all reality TV reruns just to make ex-reality show people sound dopey? Survivor Contestant from Season 3, “Hey, I on Ion! Um, I am on Ion. I’m Ion? Uh, do I sound dumb?”
Jesse Chavez – Jessie’s got himself a chance to hurl and I want to make him mine! Damn, that’s still stuck in my head.
Noah Syndergaard – Likely still about six weeks away from Syndergaard coming up to the majors, but he’s currently showing filthiness in Triple-A (10.8 K/9, 1.66 ERA), and the Mets Triple-A affiliate is in the PCL, which is a pitcher’s nightmare.
Carlos Rodon – Tomorrow is his day of reckoning (until his next start). His first major league start really doesn’t mean anything (except to all of us that own him).
Rafael Betancourt – I’m only listing him because I felt I needed to give you at least one vulture save guy. What would a Friday Buy be without a potential save vulture?! Well, technically, it would be a Friday Buy without a potential save vulture, but you catch my drift. If you don’t, stand about two inches to your right, you’ll catch my drift there.
Carlos Perez – The Sciosciapath seems like he’s giving Perez a chance to impress. Or maybe that’s imperez. 13 years of Spanish there!
Blake Swihart – Cougs bought this “Host your own Seance” kit off QVC and she’s now going to channel through me a 32-year-old Red Sox fan by the name of Mary. “I want a pink Red Sox t-shirt that says, “Be my Swihart,” and then get drunk with my boyfriend, Seanie, in the parking lot of the package store, but first I’m going to go on Facebook and curse out my friends that are Yankee fans. They can go fahk themselves along with Jacoby Ellsbury. If you weren’t 1/17th Navajo, I’d mail you a box of feces, but I respect your people’s struggle.” Did it work? The last thing I remember is writing about Carlos Perez.
Carlos Correa – Could he be up before May ends? Yes, he could, my over-the-internet friends. Hey, I’m a poet and aware of it! Now, no more rhyming and I mean it.
Brandon Crawford – Has five homers already and his career high is ten. ESPN tells me that’s halfway, but that might be because they use the Disney-sponsored numerical system.
Danny Santana – So, he wasn’t exactly the meow’s cat coming out of the gate throwing flower petals at our feet like he was Rip Taylor. By the by, how long has someone been waiting to tweet R.I.P. Taylor?
Jung-ho Kang – Fun fact! Jung-ho was named after the Michael Keaton movie, Gung Ho.
J.J. Hardy – The only mystery this Hardy boy can’t solve is why isn’t he owned on more teams. Hardy is also a fine detective, but a bit delusional if he thinks he needs to be owned on any teams other than ones that need power.
Logan Morrison – Logan’s run is almost as unbelievable as when a new generation called it, Hunger Games.
Logan Forsythe – Forsythe’s run is almost as unbelievable as when a different generation called it John Forsythe’s running to pinch an Angel’s ass.
Kyle Blanks – Is this the greatest week in the history of 1st base pickups? Yes, if before last week has you drawing Blanks.
Chris Colabello – He had an insane three weeks last year, where he looked like he was 10-team mixed league worthwhile. That, of course, ended abruptly, but he’s hitting again.
Scooter Gennett – Remind me not to draft a middle infielder next year. I’ve been tagging out my MIs quicker than if I were a British Bulldog.
Luis Valbuena – Pretty surprised to see him owned in 39% of ESPN leagues, but, since Karabell, owns 70% of ESPN teams to up his virtual trophy case, Valbuena is actually owned in 109% of leagues.
Jace Peterson – Has been swinging a hot bat lately and recently just remembered he has speed. Yay, memory!
Marlon Byrd – And this Byrd you cannot cage.
Carlos Peguero – Here’s what I said the other day, “Peguero has light tower power as they say, who they are I’m not entirely sure. He also swings like he’s in a cartoon, twisting himself into the ground. This year, he’s struck out 37% of the time and that could easily go north of 40% with more playing time. He’s in a platoon, but could easily break out of that, since his platoon-mate is Schmolinski. Would have to be a very deep league, but he could surprise and have a Wily Mo Pena-type breakout (though likely in Japan in two years).” And that’s me quoting me!
Colby Rasmus – Geiger, let’s go!
Kennys Vargas – I’d try at least one Kenny on my team if I needed power.
Billy Burns – SAGNOF!
Brett Lawrie – Color me shocked how few leagues he’s owned in. It’s like you’ve been disappointed by him in the past.
Kelly Johnson – *shrugs* No idea, but he’s hot.
Yasmany Tomas – I, honestly, think he was owned in more leagues when he was still in the minors. You people are weird, but I still love you. Figuratively! Get off your knee! I’m married!
Matt Carpenter – Fun fact! Jesus had this one client early on his life that never remembered his name and used to call him Matt Carpenter. True story, it’s in the Bible. I didn’t even think of selling Carpenter, but our Fantasy Baseball Buy/Sell tool said it (not literally, it doesn’t talk), and I agree. His HR/FB is obscenely high for him, and Carpenter could easily hit eight homers the rest of the way, and has five already.
Jorge Soler – Sad emoticon. I like Soler so much! I don’t want to sell him! Alas, his BABIP is .424 and his K% is 33.9 and he has two home runs. He could easily be hitting .175 if not for favorable luck. Maybe he’s just not ready to contribute, maybe he’s adjusting, maybe he needs the warm weather because he’s Soler powered. I have no idea, but his peripherals are frightening. And not like a cat jumping out of the closet scary, a fright that fades quickly, but scary like the girl you hooked up with last week shows up this week with a blister on her lip. I wouldn’t sell Soler for a pink flamingo Beanie Baby, but I would explore options.